Even though Raptors Republic is very much a blog-type space, it has become increasingly less blog-like. Countless writers who are now forces in the industry have passed through here, lending a sense of professionalism to the site and changing how people perceive, interact, and create content for this place – spearheaded most, probably, by the terrific Blake Murphy. However (comma) I’d like to treat this space like a blog, if only for a moment, and put out my thoughts, however vapid or inconsequential they might be.
I live in a part of the world that is seemingly (but, probably not) untouched by this current epidemic. There is no restrictions on any activity or gathering of any kind. An interpersonal flourish of the culture, a kiss on the cheek as a greeting, is still commonplace. Family units that see young children, middle aged people, and elderly folks all under one roof are far more common. The bus downtown is still packed, as people make their way to and from work – work that in the majority of cases is paid in cash, and offers no stability or support to someone who needs a sick day.
Most of my family lives in Saskatchewan (the first case there was announced minutes ago). The occasional article from CNN/BBC/whatever, and disparate outbursts of worry on twitter have dominated how I’ve learned about this whole thing. All this to say, the NBA suspending it’s season makes this pandemic feel more real than ever. A clear cut affirmation of the current climate. An indication perhaps, that I’ve been lacking in empathy towards those in other places of the world. Only contesting with the ramifications of COVID-19, now that it’s affected me. Covering the NBA is my job, and now that the NBA is suspended, naturally, so is my work. On the one hand, yes of course I should care – it’s my work, and people need to work to make money to live. On the other hand, I more than likely won’t be facing the harshest realities of the pandemic on a personal level, and my work isn’t really important at all. The health of those who are infected and those who are potentially at risk, is the most important thing.
Basketball, for a lot of us, is a large chunk of how we spend our time. Talking about it, watching it, studying it. Going forward, everyone will choose to spend it differently. Most will claim that they’ll start reading more books, fewer will follow through. Personally, I *should* apply myself to learning Python, and becoming more fluent in WordPress. Although, it’s far more likely that I do a rewatch of the Finals and do a reaction/deep-dive podcast into those games. I will cling onto basketball for dear life, and I suspect some of you will as well.
I don’t have a take, or any answers, only well-wishes.
*An earlier version of this had an overly complex way of saying that I hope everyone is healthy and safe. Acie Earl in the comments had the proper interpretation of it, so I’ll put it here to avoid any further misinterpretations. Thanks Acie.*
“While hoping no-one has contracted the disease (Raptors players, personnel, and media), I further hope that they have also managed not to share the virus with loved ones who are part of any at-risk population. If we’re talking the world over, I hope that that’s the case for everyone.” – Acie Earl, interpreting me, Samson Folk
Stay safe out there. RR will be here when basketball resumes. Probably intermittently while the NBA navigates the suspension and the world navigates the pandemic.
Have a blessed day.